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Course content

Gain an expert understanding of palliative and end of life care and its aims to achieve the best quality of life for patients facing life-threatening illness on this course. You also learn how to give vital treatment for their condition. Your studies focus on a holistic approach to symptom management for the patient and psychological, social and spiritual support for the patient and their family.

This course is ideal for experienced practitioners providing day-to-day care to patients in their homes, hospitals, hospices and nursing homes.

We have designed this course to make it easy to fit around your work and suit your professional needs. You can tailor your studies to your needs and area of practice, through a mix of core and optional modules. And you complete your studies via distance learning through our online learning environment allowing you to learn in the way most suited to your personal circumstances.

The course was developed by a multiprofessional team for a multiprofessional workforce. The learning, teaching and assessment strategies reflect the interprofessional working in supportive and palliative care helping develop more effective teamwork. Various professionals contribute to the teaching.

An academic supervisor will support your dissertation, on a topic which we work with you to devise. Dissertations can benefit you and your employer through implementation of your research findings. Study at this level also develops autonomous practice in professionals, improving their leadership skills and ability to implement service developments.

PgCert End of Life Care

If you don't want to complete the full MSc, you can stop your studies at the end of year one and receive the PgCert End of Life Care. You can rejoin and complete the MSc at a later date if you wish.

Recognition of previous certificated learning

We encourage the awarding of academic credit for previous certificated study that you may have completed in this area. This means you could be exempt from some modules, gaining your award in a shorter time.

Study individual modules

You can study individual modules from this course and gain academic credit towards a qualification. Visit our continuing professional development website for more information.

Course structure

The postgraduate certificate (PgCert) is achieved by successfully completing 60 credits.

The postgraduate diploma (PgDip) is achieved by successfully completing 120 credits.

The masters (MSc) award is achieved by successfully completing 180 credits.

Postgraduate certificate core modules

  • End of life decision making (30 credits)
  • Loss, grief and bereavement (15 credits)
  • Complexities of symptom management (15 credits)

Postgraduate diploma core modules

  • Collaborative working in supportive and palliative care (15 credits)
  • Research methods for practice (15 credits)

Postgraduate diploma optional modules

30 credits from either Sheffield Hallam University or elsewhere, as long as they are relevant to the course. Examples include:

  • Psychology of cancer care (30 credits)
  • Advanced communication and information in supportive care (30 credits)
  • Informed consent in healthcare practice (15 credits)

Our full range of module options is available on our continuing professional development website.


  • Dissertation (60 credits)


  • assignments
  • seminar presentation
  • group work


We support and develop your potential to progress your career, either in your current organisation or with a new employer. With our advice, you can pursue areas of specialist interest and take modules relevant to your future career.

Graduates from this course gain the skills and knowledge to work in senior nursing and other specialist supportive and palliative care roles, including

  • Macmillan information and support radiographer
  • hospice inpatient nurse manager
  • lead nurse or consultant nurse
  • specialist practitioner, such as physiotherapist, occupational therapist, social worker or speech and language therapist working in supportive and palliative care

Visit the Supportive and Palliative Care MSc/PgDip/PgCert page on the Sheffield Hallam University website for more details!




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